Tory Minister Mark Spencer Avoids Punishment Over Islamophobia Allegation

An ethics investigation concludes it is "not possible" to know what happened, following complaint from a fellow Conservative.
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Rishi Sunak has said he will take no further action against Tory minister Mark Spencer after he was cleared of Islamophobia.

Spencer has been under investigation by the prime minister’s ethics adviser, Sir Laurie Magnus, over accusations by fellow fellow Tory MP Nusrat Ghani.

Ghani claimed that in 2020, Spencer, the then chief whip, had told her she was being sacked as a minister partly because of concerns about her “Muslimness”.

Spencer is currently an environment minister.

In a letter to Sunak published on Thursday, Magnus said because of Ghani and Spencer’s competing memories of a the meeting on March 4, 2020, it was “not possible” to conclude what had been said.

But Magnus did criticise Spencer for “shortcomings” over the incident and warned he “should have taken more care” when briefing the-then prime minister Boris Johnson about the complaint.

Sunak said it had been “right and proper that this very serious matter has been investigated rigorously”.

“I take seriously the need to treat others with respect and to avoid any suggestion of prejudice,” he said.

“But in the absence of clear evidence, it would not be right to take further action.”

Ghani, who is now a business minister, said Magnus’ report had shown there was “no criticism or doubt expressed regarding my version of events”.

“We all serve at the prime minister’s choosing and there is no shame in a political career ending,” she said.

“But to be told your faith and identity is the reason for it cannot be acceptable in any way.

“The impact of being told this was devastating and my motivation in pursuing the complaint was to ensure it wasn’t buried, but that it ended with me so that no other colleague would have to endure anything similar.”


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